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Princess Royal lays wreath in remembrance of those killed in Lockerbie bombing

The Princess Royal has paid her respects to those who lost their lives in the Lockerbie bombing which happened 35 years ago.

On December 21 1988, a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit as it flew above the Dumfries and Galloway town, killing all 259 passengers and crew onboard.

A further 11 people died on the ground as parts of the wreckage landed on homes in the town.

Anne visited Dryfesdale cemetery and the visitor centre on the town’s outskirts to remember those who lost their lives to the bombing.

Lockerbie Plane Crash
The wrecked nose section of the Pan-Am Boeing 747 lies in a field at Lockerbie (PA)

She met officials from Dumfries and Galloway Council, as well as others involved in keeping the memory of those who lost their lives alive.

She was joined by Fiona Armstrong, Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries.

Ms Armstrong, also a newsreader and reporter, covered the bombing while working as a journalist.

The princess was shown around the visitor centre and spoke those in attendance.

Royal visit to Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial
The Princess Royal after laying a wreath at the Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial (Andrew Milligan/PA)

She signed the visitor guestbook and unveiled a small plaque created in honour of her visit to the site.

Shortly afterwards, she walked through the graveyard to the official memorial for those who were killed as a result of the bombing, where she laid a special wreath signed by her in commemoration of the dead.

Ahead of laying the wreath, Ms Armstrong said: “I was there on that night and I saw first-hand how this town rallied, how it copes and has continued to cope over the decades.

Royal visit to Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial
The Princess Royal at the Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“You could never be more proud of a community. A disaster like this can never be forgotten.

“So much grief, such senseless losses, 270 innocent lives, remembered here on this memorial, each and every name will never be forgotten.

“Lockerbie’s moto is forward, and we move together in hope.

“Your Royal Highness, your brother, now the King, came here following the disaster.

“Your mother, the late Queen; your father, the Duke of Edinburgh; also came here some years after to pay their respects.

“And how we are honoured to have you here today, as the Princess Royal, but we also ask you to lay a wreath, please, of remembrance.”

LOCKERBIE: QUEEN LAYS A WREATH
The late queen also laid a wreath at the memorial (Chris Bacon/PA)

Former Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi remains the only person to have been convicted following the atrocity.

He was found guilty of 270 counts of murder by a panel of three Scottish judges, sitting at a special court in the Hague in 2001 and was imprisoned in Scotland.

He was granted compassionate release in 2009 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and returned to Libya where he died in 2012.

Libyan Abu Agila Masud is alleged to have helped make the bomb.

He is to go on trial in the US in May 2025 facing three charges which he denies.